How WWJD Gives Us Foot Cramps

My last post on Why WWJD isn’t WJWD generated quite a bit of interest and some great comments. In that post, I said that WDJD (“What Did Jesus Do?”) is a far more important question than WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do?”). If you read the writings of the Apostles, you’ll find that they focused on what Jesus accomplished in His death and resurrection, and how that is relevant for our lives.

But, I think the tongue-in-cheek dialogue of that post fell short of explaining how, exactly, WWJD can be a misleading slogan. Notice that I said, “can be”, not “is”. I’m sure WWJD has helped many thousands of people in specific life-situations.

Image by t.na~★ via Flickr

But, I think WWJD is a bit like your first pair of shoes. They may have helped you take the first few steps, but they’ll strangle your feet if you don’t take ’em off. So, I decided to list out just how WWJD can cramp your spiritual feet.

14 Ways WWJD Gives Us Foot Cramps

  1. It can make us think wise decision-making is simply a matter of imagining what Jesus would do and doing it, rather than studying Scripture to form a consistent, biblical worldview, submitting to its teaching, consulting with spiritual leaders, and praying for guidance.
  2. It can make us think we always can and should do what Jesus did, when often we cannot and should not.
  3. It can make us think Christianity is primarily about imitating Jesus, rather than obeying Jesus.
  4. It can make us think Christianity is primarily about doing, not being.
  5. It can make us think Christianity is primarily about will power and effort, rather than surrender.
  6. It can make us think Christianity is primarily about formulas, not relationships.
  7. It can make us think Christianity is primarily a way to become a better person, rather than how God makes us a new creation.
  8. It can make us think Christianity is primarily about externals, not internals.
  9. It can make us think Christianity is something we can achieve/do/perform/work, rather than something Christ works in us.
  10. It can make us think spiritual growth is primarily about good behavior, rather than God’s Spirit working in us.
  11. It can make us think Christianity is about what we do for God, not what God has done for us.
  12. It can make us think Christianity is primarily a duty we owe to God, rather than a gift God has given to us.
  13. It can make us think Christianity is about how we can earn God’s love, not how God loved us when we didn’t deserve it.
  14. Finally, it can make us forget the gospel.

What’s that?

You’re not sure what the gospel is?

See, I told you…

BTW – I like numbers that end in 5 or 0. Have you got #15 for me?


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Why WWJD Isn’t WJWD

❯ WRONG

Imagine that a deaf person followed Jesus around and watched everything He did, but heard none of what He said, and then wasn’t around to see the last week of Jesus’ life at all (that whole cross and resurrection thing). And then, imagine that this person came up with a slogan to summarize what he thought was the point:

WWJD – let’s all be like Jesus!

So…

If I do what Jesus would do, it’ll make be a better person? It’ll make me more moral? It’ll make me better buds with God? It’ll get me into heaven?

No. No. No. NO!

About the only thing WWJD does is make me feel a bit more smug about myself. (As if I need any help with that!)

❯ RIGHT

The trouble with WWJD is, it just plain misses the point. Jesus and His Apostles pretty clearly focused on WDJD—What DID Jesus Do?—as in, what did Jesus do for me, what did He accomplish, and why does it matter?

And that would be…

He died on the cross.

So?

So, He volunteered to die; he didn’t have to, and He did it because He loves me.

How nice. So?

So, that’s pretty great…

So?

So, He must have had a good reason for doing that. He must’ve wanted to accomplish something important.

Go on…

So, He accomplished something… for me that I couldn’t do for myself. I was supposed to, but I couldn’t. He stepped in and did it for me.

And that would be…

He rescued me from God’s wrath, which is the penalty that my sins deserve, so I could be God’s child.

Bingo! And?

He freed me from the power and guilt of sin…

and from the power of Satan that ruled me…

and from the Law that condemned me.

And?

He made me a new creation by His Spirit who gives me power to obey Jesus, my King and Savior.

And?

He made me part of His Church which He calls to obey His Great Commandment to love God and neighbor, and to obey His Great Commission to make disciples around the world by proclaiming WDJD.

And?

He promises to never abandon me, always to favor me, and guide me in this life, and to welcome me into His eternal kingdom in the next.

And?

That… that pretty much covers it…

Well alright, then.

So, I’ll just scratch WWJD from my vocabulary?

Yeah, it’s WJWD.


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